I am starting a new series of posts on productivity. Occasionally I will write a post on one aspect of my productivity methods.
When it comes down to tackling a paper I usually start on the day the paper was assigned by adding it to my Google calendar. Then I break down the paper and systematically go through it, one part at a time. I will schedule in a time, to sit down and write out an outline for the paper, and each section of it. Then I will spend a few days doing the necessary research, gathering sources, writing out the citations, and pulling out the necessary quotes and data, with the correctly formatted citations, into a word document. I use Endnote X2 to format my citations and manage them, free alternatives include Zotero and Mendeley. After I have all of these materials gathered together. I look at the length requirement, then next to the various sections on the outline, I write a projected length. I set a deadline for myself to complete the paper at least 3 days before it is due. After I complete writing the paper, I use those 3 extra days to have my paper proof read by at least 2-3 other people. Then I sit down incorporate the final changes and submit my paper. (more…)